Clients often come to therapy because of negative associations and patterns (negative metaphors). But in my own work, I find it helpful to go deeper… into a client’s innate positive (rather than negative) metaphoric associations.
Fifty years of outstanding research by George Lakoff and others has demonstrated how metaphors form the basis of our cognition, defining how we think, speak, and act in everyday life. Metaphors are so embedded in our thought processes that it’s impossible to become conscious of them all.
Metaphor is connected to our intuition. We might say we’re feeling ‘light’ or ‘heavy’, ‘scattered’, ‘crystal clear’, or ‘in over our head’. We might say we feel overwhelmed, like we’re drowning, or ‘on top of the world’. We might say, ‘I’ve closed that door and don’t see the next one yet’, ‘I feel like I’m swimming upstream’, or ‘I need a time out.’ We might walk away from a conversation and say, ‘I can’t put my finger on it, but something feels off’, or visit a friend’s new home and describe it as ‘heavy’ or ‘light’ or ‘cheerful’.
Here’s a link to the full article on how to work with a client’s metaphors: